While it is easy to get caught up in all the fitness memberships available, there is a multitude of at home (or outdoor) workouts one can do on his/her own (membership free). It is not necessary to go to a gym or attend some fitness class, and you can instead make do with little to no equipment for an effective workout.
Here are 5 highly effective workouts that do not require a membership:
Running is both an effective workout that gets your heart pumping, burns a lot of calories, and really gets your body moving. It is also a great way to spend time outdoors (weather permitting)! I love going for a morning run on an outdoor trail before work – it’s energizing and always starts my day off on the right foot. Remember to wear proper running shoes, perfect your stride, and do a warm-up/cool down every time.
2. Bodyweight exercises and plyometrics
Bodyweight exercises are a great option for all fitness levels. You can choose exercises according to whether you want to maintain or build strength, lose weight, get leaner, etc. Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, jump squats and burpees do not require any equipment, and if you have access to a bench or pull-up bar you can add in triceps dips and pull-ups accordingly.
Many bodyweight exercises are considered plyometric exercises. Plyometrics is a fun way to see what your body can really do and improve your strength, power, speed and coordination. To properly define plyometrics, you can take a look at this page that accurately defines what these exercises are and gives examples.
3. Power walking
Power walking isn’t quite as intense on your body as running, and is a great option for those who find running is too hard on their body but they still want to get in quick movement that burns calories and gets the cardiovascular system going. (You also don’t get quite as sweaty so it is more feasible to fit in a power walk on a lunch break or between errands for the day.)
You can go for a power work solo or join a local walking group. It’s also a great way to meet new people and provide that fitness community that you get at ‘membership’ spots.
4. Jumping rope
Jumping rope is one of the best cardiovascular full-body workouts. It improves your agility, coordination, speed and strength. If you are just starting out, it is recommended to begin with a heavier rope because the rotation is slower. Once you get in the habit of jumping rope you can switch to a light rope to accelerate your heart rate quicker.
It is helpful to keep a jumping rope in the back of your car and even in your bag when traveling because it doesn’t take up much space and is a great way to get in a fun and effective workout quickly.
5. Park workouts
Now you may not associate the park with a workout spot, it actually is a great place to get in an effective workout. If you prefer to be outside while you exercise, you can do simple bodyweight exercises, go for a run, or use equipment at a playground or picnic spot to do specific exercises. You can, for example, do split squats by standing in front of a swing and resting one foot on a swing, do alternate step-downs on a park bench, and do a ball throw up against a fence.
Written and Researched by Mary Davis